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One of the most common complaints among couples who RV together is that one person inevitably gets stuck driving majority of the time. It’s not that their spouse is lazy or selfish, it’s more so that they’re intimidated at the thought of driving such a large vehicle. it can feel clumsy at first – having to maneuver through traffic a house on wheels. We put together a list of tips, however, that will help even the most timid driver get used to driving their motorhome, so their spouse can enjoy some of the scenery and a little R&R!
It sounds obvious, but oftentimes those who are scared of RVing won’t get behind the wheel. Take some time to practice driving in a large empty parking lot. Sit in the driver’s seat and get to know the different controls – how to work the headlights, radio, or GPS. Knowing your interior surroundings from the perspective of the drive is likely to make you feel more comfortable when the time comes for you to take the wheel.
2. Take it slow
This doesn’t mean that you need to impede traffic, but going 5 miles or so below the speed limit will help you feel comfortable and also reduce the traffic around you because more than likely the speed demons on the road will pass you. This also helps ensure you have less of a chance of missing a car in your blind spot. Remember, you’re on vacation and don’t need to speed to get where you’re going. And the faster you’re going the harder it is to stop.
3. City traffic
This can be especially scary because the roads are more narrow than highways, you have to worry about pedestrians and parked cars. One of the easiest ways to ease the stress of city driving is to avoid driving during peak times like noon and 5pm. When driving in the city take it slow and remember to watch your turns, particularly in areas where there are roundabouts.
4. Height, Weight, and Width
Remember: your RV is significantly taller than your little Ford Focus. Memorize the height of your RV and be aware of any height restrictions while driving. It’s also very heavy. This means that breaking will also take longer, which is why you need to break earlier. Because your RV is wide, that means your side mirrors will stick out more and are more susceptible to being clipped. Be aware of the entire body of your RV.
5. Turn wide
Since your RV is so large, it’s important to remember that when turning you must swing wide. This is one of those moves you’ll likely want to practice in the parking lot before taking to city streets so you can be completely comfortable. Once you master this a few times, it’ll come as second nature.